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Atkins And Ketogenic Diet Weight Loss Plans

Updated on February 27, 2016

Ketogenic Diet for Weight Loss Made Simple

Find out about weight loss with a low-carb ketogenic diet. The standard diet of Americans is very high in carbohydrate foods. In fact, our average diet contains 45-65% of calories from carbs. This is why obesity and obesity related health problems are out of control. They have grown to epidemic proportions.

Do you eat a diet that is high in carbohydrates? Are you looking for a new, heathier diet plan to help you lose weight and live a healthier life style? If you are ready for something different, the Ketogenic diet plan might be just what you are looking for.

Eggs are an allowed food item on the ketogenic diet plan
Eggs are an allowed food item on the ketogenic diet plan

Intro To The Ketogenic Diet

The Ketogenic diet or Keto diet is a diet plan that is high in fat, but low in carb way of eating. It calls for small amounts of proteins and natural fats like coconut oil or butter and vegetables. This diet plan adheres to a 4:1 ratio of fats to proteins and carbohydrates. The usual breakdown is 75% Fats, 25% Protein, and 5% Carbs.

Nuts, coconut milk, butter, and other foods that are high in fat are sanctioned. This diet is low-carb and that means that pasta, bread, sugar, and grains are not on the meal plan list. Why? It’s because this type of diet plan results in the ketones replacing glucose as fuel. It is believed that this kind of diet plan, one that metabolizes fat rather than glucose, can also reduce the systemic inflammation that can cause epilepsy and other diseases. It’s also the metabolizing fat that is the catalyst for this healthy weight loss process.

BUT…before you dive in and begin to eat a ketogenic diet, I want to tell you all about the diet, what it is, the pros and cons of the eating plan and I want you to determine if it’s a good fit for you and your lifestyle. The ketogenic diet does have it’s drawbacks and it is certainly not for everyone. Like any diet plan there are certain foods you should avoid, there are also rules you should know about so you can decide if this is the weight loss plan for you.

Vegetables are an allowed food item on the ketogenic diet
Vegetables are an allowed food item on the ketogenic diet

What is the Ketogenic Diet?

I know you want to get right to the meat of what you can and can’t eat on this low-carb diet plan, but first, let’s find out just what a ketogenic diet is.

The ketogenic diet is a diet plan that it’s any diet that forces the body into a process called ketosis. The process of ketosis is one where fats are burned for energy instead of carbs. If done correctly, the ketogenic dieter consumes high amounts of fats, moderate amounts of protein, and low amounts of carbs.

With a more traditional type of diet, our bodies would naturally turn any carbohydrates we eat into glucose. That glucose is then sent throughout the body as a primary source of energy. With the ketogenic diet, our body enters into a state of ketosis since we have limited our intake of carbs. This causes our liver to begin the process of breaking down fat cells into fatty acids and ketones. Those ketones are then used as energy.

  • Ketones are produced in our bodies naturally. They are formed during the process of your body using fat as energy rather than carbohydrates.
  • A traditional diet is made up of protein, carbs and some fats. The extra fat is stored since our body uses the carbohydrates for energy.
  • On the Ketogenic diet plan, you will be eating mostly fats, you will be eating very few carbohydrates, and you will eat just enough protein to maintain growth.
  • Fat is being used for energy when your body produces ketones. When you eat carbohydrates your body uses glucose for energy.
  • With a keto diet plan your body will enter a state of ketosis. Ketosis is the state where your body uses a source of fuel, other than carbs, to deliver energy. What this means is your body will start to burn fat rather than carbohydrates for fuel.
  • You reach the state of ketosis when you eat a very low amount of carbs. How many carbs you do eat will depend on which diet plan you choose to follow and which stage of the diet plan you are in. Usually the amount of carbs you can ingest is about 20 grams a day at the start of your diet. With a ketogenic diet your meals will consist mainly of fat, protein, and green vegetables.

Pork is an allowed meat on the ketogenic diet plan
Pork is an allowed meat on the ketogenic diet plan

History Of The Ketogenic Diet Plan

Okay, where did the ketogenic diet plan come from? What’s the story behind this weight loss plan? Well, the low-carb ketogenic diet has been around for about 90 years. First designed by Dr. Russell Wilder of the Mayo Clinic, it was used for effectively treating people with epilepsy. In the 1940’s new epilepsy anti-seizure medications were introduced and this effective diet fell to the way side. Even though the ketogenic diet was of great help when treating epilepsy and it’s resulting seizures, medicine replaced this food plan as a treatment. The ketogenic diet food plan used for epilepsy is usually made up of about 5% carbohydrates, 20% protein, and 75% fat.

The ketogenic diet has been found quite successful for the treatment of many medical conditions, not just epilepsy. And it’s been found that giving up or reducing carbs in your diet also encourages weight loss.

While the low-carb keto diet plan is extremely effective in losing weight, it also has other health benefits and they include:

  1. Some medical doctors also believe this low-carb diet might be beneficial in cases of traumatic brain injury and strokes.
  2. Cancers are fed by sugar, well fed cancer cells then multiply. Eliminating sugar and carbohydrates from the diet might be an effective tool in the fight against cancer.
  3. A ketogenic diet modifies and improves cardiovascular risk factors – something you should discuss with your primary care physician or your heart specialist to gather more pertinent facts before considering this diet.
  4. New research shows us that the ketogenic diet could be helpful with the treatment of Autism.
  5. Also pathological conditions such diabetes, polycystic ovary syndrome, and acne, have been shown to have positive effects from a ketogenic diet plan.
  6. Epilepsy and seizure disorders – many doctors advocate the use of the ketogenic diet for adults and children who have epilepsy, particularly when their seizures do not respond to anti-seizure medications.
  7. There is a recently popular school of thought (along with some clinical trials and studies that show this to be true) that a ketogenic diet might help with an extensive range of disorders that are neurological and neurodegenerative such as:
  • Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Multiple Sclerosis

The Atkins ketogenic diet is by no means a new diet fad. It has been wildly popular since it’s second introduction by Dr. Robert Atkins. He released the diet plan in a book called “Dr. Atkins New Diet Revolution” in the 1990’s. I find the Atkin’s plan easy to follow and very effective when trying to lose weight. I don’t feel hungry or suffer from food cravings throughout the day, and that is very important to my weight loss success when I am dieting. There is a bit of difference between the ketogenic diet plan and the Atkins. The ketogenic diet plan is a bit stricter in its meal plan allowances.

You can also lose weight on the Atkins or ketogenic diet plans without exercising, so if you have medical reasons why it's difficult to exercise, the Atkins or ketogenic plan might just be perfect for you. It is always best to start an exercise program to go along with your diet so if you can exercise, do it.

Carbs are devastating for the brain

— David Perlmutter
This egg salad is an allowed food item on the ketogenic food plan
This egg salad is an allowed food item on the ketogenic food plan

Discover the Secret of Why The Ketogenic Diet Is Used For Fat Loss

So there are benefits for many health conditions when a ketogenic diet is used, but what makes it a popular weight loss diet? That is so simple to answer!

The reason the ketogenic diet is a popular weight loss tool is that it works. It uses the body’s natural behavior to burn fat. When you follow a ketogenic diet plan you are not hungry and you don’t feel cravings. Aren’t those two of the most common reasons diet plans fail

You don’t have to exercise, I know, I said that earlier…but it is certainly worth a second mention. If you cannot for some medical reason, you will still lose weight when you use the ketogenic diet. Of course, if you do exercise, your results will be better and quicker and exercise is always recommended whether you are on a diet or not. It is just a healthy thing to do for your body.

Avocados are an allowed food item on the ketogenic food plan
Avocados are an allowed food item on the ketogenic food plan

How Does The Ketogenic Diet Help With Weight Loss

How the ketogenic diet works is not a big secret. It is designed to put your body in the fat burning state of ketosis. Our bodies can use carbs or fat for energy, but when you use the fat burning diet, you do not store the fat that can add pounds onto your weight, you burn it off.

Carbohydrates are the first choice of fuel for your body but when there are extra carbs not burnt as fuel, they get stored as fat, and that’s how you gain weight

That stored fat is burned as energy if there are no sugars or glycogen available. When you eat a low-carb ketogenic diet you force the body into ketosis. You have limited the amount of carbs you take in and force your body to burn the fat for energy. You are burning the fat that added to your weight for energy and you will lose weight. It is almost impossible not to lose weight with this process going on inside you.

This is a great dinner that is an allowed meal on the ketogenic diet plan
This is a great dinner that is an allowed meal on the ketogenic diet plan

Results You Will See And Feel On A Ketogenic Diet

1. Your blood sugar levels stabilize when you eat a low-carb diet. This means you will not have the carb and sugar cravings you normally would. That certainly increases your chances of success on this diet.

2. You will feel energetic and healthy when you are on a low-carb diet

3. Your appetite will be smaller on a low-carb diet. You will eat less with almost no effort what so ever.

4. A ketogenic diet is very easy to follow. It’s not confusing at all, you simply eat fresh whole foods you can find in any store. Sugary and processed foods are a No-No

5. Foods high in fat and protein are on this diet food list. These foods are flavorful and you will feel satisfied after eating them.

6. Many people find they are not hungry when on a ketogenic diet. The amount of carbs you are taking in is reduced, your blood sugar is controlled and your insulin levels are not spiking, and that helps your cravings and hunger to be under control. If your blood-glucose levels rise quickly or if your insulin levels spike, we start to feel hungry. With the low-carb diet our levels remain steady, keeping us feeling satisfied, not hungry

So there, it’s not a secret at all, just some common sense practices that put our body to work for us, rather than against us. When you decrease the amount of carbs you take in, and increase the amount of protein and fat you take in, you are eating fewer calories and using your body to burn its stored fats. That is how you lose weight on the ketogenic diet.

No Sugar is allowed on the ketogenic diet plan
No Sugar is allowed on the ketogenic diet plan

Follow The Keto Diet Rules

The Ketogenic diet has rules, every diet does. If that was not the case we could all eat whatever we wanted, as much as we wanted. So…let’s find out what the rules to the keto diet are. Remember the breakdown in all your meal planning...75% Fats, 25% Protein, and 5% Carbs.

Always check the food labels for the amount of carbs in each item. Also check the amount of servings in each package.

Each serving should be 2 grams or less for meat and dairy products and 5 grams or less for vegetables.

Choose one of the following foods when you are hungry. When you feel satisfied, stop eating.

  • Organic or grass fed meats: beef, lamb, pork, veal, wild game.
  • Never use meats with any sugar or honey
  • Poultry choices: chicken, Cornish hen, duck, quail, pheasant, or turkey. Leave the skin on, it will add to the fat content. Never bread or batter the meats when cooking. These meats are best when roasted, baked, grilled, barbecued, or fried.
  • Seafood choices: fish, seafood, and shellfish are best when fresh and wild caught. Make sure any canned fish you choose is free of any added sugars. Do not use batter or breading on your fish or seafood. Some suggestions are: catfish, cod, flounder, halibut, mackerel, mahi-mahi, salmon, snapper, trout, and tuna or in the shellfish category: clams, oysters, lobster, crab, scallops, and mussels.
  • Eggs are an easy staple on a ketogenic diet. You can prepare them by frying, hard-boiling, poaching, scrambling, making an omelet or even making deviled eggs.
  • Eat one or two cups of salad greens every day. Make sure you eat at least one cup of fibrous vegetables every day.

Lettuce and greens are allowed food items on the ketogenic diet plan
Lettuce and greens are allowed food items on the ketogenic diet plan

Your Salad Greens Can Include The Following:

 
 
 
Cabbage
Chives
Endive
Greens
Lettuces
Parsley
Radishes
Raddichio
Spinach
Asparagus is one of the allowed vegetables on the ketogenic diet plan
Asparagus is one of the allowed vegetables on the ketogenic diet plan

Your Fibrous Vegetables Can Include

 
 
 
Alfalfa and bean sprouts
Asparagus
Bamboo shoots
Bell pepper
Bok choy
Black beans
Broccoli
Brussel sprouts
Cauliflower
Celery
Chard
Cucumber
Green beans
Jicama
Mushrooms
Okra
Radishes
Rhubarb
Rutabaga
Snow peas
Sugar snap peas
Tomatoes
Turnip
Wax beans
Water chestnuts
Zucchini
 

Eat Limited Quantities Of These Foods

Certain foods are allowed on the ketogenic food plan but only in limited quantities. They are:

  • 4 oz of Cheese a day– Cheese choices include: Hard, aged like Swiss and cheddar, Brie, mozzarella, Gruyere, cream cheese and goat cheese. Avoid Processed Cheeses. Read your cheese labels. Carb count should be less than 1 gram per each serving.
  • 4 Tablespoons of Dairy Cream a day –Your dairy cream includes: heavy and light cream and sour cream. NO HALF&HALF or MILK
  • Low Carb Mayonnaise – Check the label for the carb count – make sure it’s low and stays within your daily limits.
  • Limit fatty vegetables like olives and avocados - Olives – serve up to 7 per day. Avocados – up to 1/2 an avocado per day.
  • Small amounts of condiments like: lemon or lime juice, small amount of ketchup, and soy sauce.
  • Pickles – Limit 2 servings a day. Dill or sugar-free pickles are the best choices for this low-carb diet plan.
  • Allowable Snacks include: Pepperoni slices, ham, beef or turkey spread with a cream cheese, deviled eggs, pork rinds, macadamia, almond or other nuts in a small amount, coconut butter.
  • Allowable Drinks include: unsweetened tea, unsweetened decaf coffee, herbal tea, water, flavored water (unsweetened), almond milk, coconut milk.
  • Commercial spices – These may contain sugar so be sure to check the label – Restrict as necessary when possible. Some spices have carbs as well as sugar added. Know what your spices contain. These are pretty safe spice choices: basil, black pepper, cayenne pepper, chili pepper, cilantro, coriander seeds, cinnamon, ground cloves, cumin seeds, dill, ginger, mustard seeds, oregano, parsley, peppermint, rosemary, sage, thyme and turmeric.

Butter is an allowed fat on the ketogenic food plan
Butter is an allowed fat on the ketogenic food plan

Choose Good Fats And Oils

Many different types of oil, butter, and cream can be used in cooking, they include:

  • Beef tallow
  • Organic butter
  • Chicken fat
  • Ghee
  • Lard
  • Olive oil
  • Coconut oil
  • Red palm oil
  • To make a salad dressing use: avocado oil, almond oil, macadamia oil, mayonnaise, and most nut oils.

Drink at least 6-8 glasses of water a day whether you are on a ketogenic diet or not.  Water is so important to your health.
Drink at least 6-8 glasses of water a day whether you are on a ketogenic diet or not. Water is so important to your health.

Beverages Allowed On The Ketogenic Diet

Drink liquids. It is important for anyone to drink 6-8 glasses of water a day...but if you are going on the ketogenic diet you should drink more. Here is a list of allowed liquids for you to enjoy throughout the day while on your diet.

  • Water, water, water...cannot stress it enough
  • Coffee
  • Tea in both herbal and non-herbal
  • you can use Stevia, Sucralose, and such but always check the grams of sugar and the calories in these sweetening products.

Weigh in once or twice a week.  Don't become a slave to your scale.
Weigh in once or twice a week. Don't become a slave to your scale.

Tips for Sticking to the Diet

Let’s just say you have been on the ketogenic diet for some time and you find it difficult to stick to the diet rules. You want some carbs. You are bored with the same old menu. You don’t feel support from your family and friends, and are getting frustrated. Dieting isn’t always easy but here are some tips to help you stick to your diet plan.

  1. Find A Support Group – You can find support online or join one of the many ketogenic forums available to get the support you need. Let your family and friends know what you are doing and ask for their support or ask them to diet along with you. I find dieting always better with company!
  2. Put The Accent On The Positive – Put the focus on your achievements. Does this diet make you feel more energetic? Have you lost a few pounds? Are you sleeping better? What has improved since you started the diet, how do you feel better now than before you started eating using a low-carb plan?
  3. OOPS – You Slipped Up – Dieting isn’t easy all the time. Even though you won’t have lots of cravings when you follow the ketogenic diet plan, you might just slip up and eat a piece of dessert or enjoy a pint of beer. Okay. It happens. Don’t let a slip up deter you from your weight loss goal. It isn’t very realistic to think you won’t ever be tempted to eat a sweet or other not allowed on your diet food. So, it happened. Just get right back to your eating plan and don’t dwell on the slip up. Your body won’t stay in ketosis if you eat or drink too many carbs, so it may take a couple days to get back into that state after a slip. Just keep that in mind and be aware of the facts of this diet
  4. Be Prepared Before You Begin. Get everything you need before you start the diet. Did you want a diet book? Get it. The allowed spices? Get the ones you will use. The diet foods? Go food shopping. Make sure you are prepared when you begin the diet so you don’t set yourself up to Slip up. This way you are ready and you won’t be tempted to slip up before you even begin
  5. Set up an accountability system. Tell someone your goals and ask them to help you be accountable for sticking to your diet plan. You can also write your goals down. Telling someone and writing your goals will help you to stick to the plan.

Yoga is a great way to exercise and there are inexpensive yoga classes so it won't cost you a lot of money
Yoga is a great way to exercise and there are inexpensive yoga classes so it won't cost you a lot of money

If Possible Add Exercise

Plan on adding some exercise to your daily routine. It can be during the first week, or the first month, of the diet. If you are not restricted from exercise by health issues, add some into your daily routine. Keep it simple in the beginning. Take a walk, add some steps on to your walk each day. After a week or two add some weight training, anything to help you burn fat quicker.

Three types of ketogenic diet plans - this information is really just for an FYI. I thought I would tell you how you can change this diet plan to fit your needs. You don't need to worry about these different diet plans and carb eating percents right now. Start your diet and add these other ideas in if they fit your life style. This information might not make sense now, but it will once you begin the diet and realize that you...since you exercise...need more carbs added to your personal diet.

Once you begin exercising you just might need to change your diet to what is called a targeted or cyclical plan. What does that mean? There are three different types of ketogenic diets:

  • Standard Ketogenic Diet (SKD) - 20 grams carbs
  • Cyclical Ketogenic Diet (CKD) - 25-50g of carbs before or after a workout
  • Targeted Ketogenic Diet (TKD) - 5/6 days of ketogenic dieting and 1/2 days of high carb eating.

The standard diet The cyclical ketogenic diet means changing your diet for a couple days a week. For example, adding a carb-load on the weekends and following a normal Keto diet during the week. The targeted ketogenic diet plan simply means eating extra carbs before your workout. Worry about these possible changes once you begin to exercise. Don’t stress about them in the beginning of your diet plan.

This is the kind of exercise program that might make you need to add more carbs into your diet  as mentioned up above.   See the Cyclical Ketogenic Diet (CKD)  or the Targeted Ketogenic Diet (TKD) -
This is the kind of exercise program that might make you need to add more carbs into your diet as mentioned up above. See the Cyclical Ketogenic Diet (CKD) or the Targeted Ketogenic Diet (TKD) -

No Cheating On Your Ketogenic Diet

Be Patient. Do Not Cheat. Once you start your diet it will take a few days, or more, for your body to get into a state of ketosis. Stick to your diet plan. Be consistent with your menu and carb intake. Don’t weigh yourself every single day – it’s not good to do that at all. Your weight may vary depending on the time of day, or many other factors. Water intake can make a big difference in your weight, so just be patient and weigh yourself once a week.

Keep A Journal To Track Your Progress. Keep a journal of what you eat. Measure it, write it down, keep track of the amount you eat and the calories, fat, protein and carb amounts too.

You are not alone in your weight loss journey. Many of us have been there or are traveling on this road, right now, with you. There are many ways to get support, to increase the amount of weight you do lose, and to be kind to yourself while you are losing the weight. Start out being prepared and with some support…this will increase your chances of success. It’s not difficult when you are prepared and when you share your journey with others

Measuring Your Diet Results And Progress

I know I said practice patience and don’t weigh yourself every day, but let’s face it…you are on a diet to see those results. When you get on a scale and see you’ve lost the first few pounds, when you look in the mirror and see that you are smaller, your clothes are loose, it’s an amazing feeling.

Okay, now here’s the BUT…it’s not good to base all your feelings of success on a weigh in on the scale. There are other ways to make sure you have achieved ketosis

How? You can measure ketosis. You can buy self-testing strips. Ketones are released from your body via your mouth, your sweat, and your urine. These testing strips are used with urine. It’s super easy to use them and they tell you whether you are in ketosis right away by changing color. The strips change color, the range is from a very pale pink to a dark purple. The darker the strip the more ketones your body is burning. There is also a blood ketone meter available.

This doesn't look like diet food to me and it is an allowed breakfast or meal on the ketogenic diet plan
This doesn't look like diet food to me and it is an allowed breakfast or meal on the ketogenic diet plan

Daily Meal Plan Sample For The Ketogenic Diet Plan

Remember the breakdown for your meal plan is 75% Fats, 25% Protein, and 5% Carbs. (You are thinking that I repeat that quite a bit, aren't you? It is important!)

  • Breakfast – Two eggs, two slices of bacon and a veggie - add a tomato
  • Lunch – Beef burger or seafood and small green salad
  • Dinner – veggies, beef or salmon steak
  • Snacks – Pepperoni slices, ham, beef or turkey spread with a cream cheese, deviled eggs, pork rinds, macadamia, almond or other nuts in a small amount, coconut butter.


Check out this ketogenic diet pie chart for those of you who want to "see" what your diet will look like.
Check out this ketogenic diet pie chart for those of you who want to "see" what your diet will look like. | Source

Benefits Of The Ketogenic Diet

Ketogenic Diet Low Carb Food Haul

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